Archive for April 27th, 2012

27th April
2012
written by amber

On the Road

He left in the middle of the night, packing the motorhome full. Mostly he was bringing goods that he hoped to sell or barter, but there were a few items of a sentimental nature that he couldn’t bring himself to part with. If hunger overcame sentimentality, he’d sell those too.

Jack had no idea how Irene had managed it, all those years since he retired. Her part-time job at the library didn’t pay that much, he was sure, but she’d kept food on the table, a few beers in the fridge for weekends, the bills paid. Except for that one bill.

“We don’t need to be like those young people with all their credit cards,” she used to say. “One’s enough for us.”

But she sure as shooting had loaded that one up, to the max. None of it on frivolous things, other than Christmas gifts for the grandkids. But when she died, the cost of the funeral pushed it all over the edge and he had no idea of how to catch up, financially.

When they were still talking to each other, Jack’s banker had told him that he’d never get enough for the house to cover the second mortgage, something Jack had known about only peripherally, when Irene had asked him to sign papers for ‘something to do with our mortgage.’ God help him, he’d thought it was the final payment, he’d thought they were free and clear.

The power was cut off last week, and the car got repossessed yesterday. Jack knew he’d better put his plan in place while he still owned a thing or two.

###

A month later, he’d settled into a lifestyle of sorts, camping for free in mall parking lots and vacant fields, hitting the swap meets to pick up some cash or canned goods. He was seeing a different side of RV’ing – he was far from the only elder gypsy fleeing his creditors.

He’d met a retired lawyer who helped people set up accounts for their pension cheques so they could get their money without being traced.

And he was having a ball – seeing sights he thought he’d never see. Irene had always claimed they were homebodies, not happy if they were gone for more than a week. Turns out she was speaking only for herself.

Turns out Jack might just be as wild and irresponsible as Irene always said he was.  And he loves it.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.